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Relativity Space Massive 3D Printers Are Reinventing More Than Rockets

The company is already home to the world’s largest 3D printers

Relativity Space, a company in Long Beach, California has grown immensely since its initiation five years ago. The company’s efforts to create the next-generation manufacturing industry have landed them at number 23 in CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list this year! The company’s tests will now launch a 3D-printed ion rocket engine in 2021.

Relativity Space is currently pushing the boundaries of 3D printing to make rockets, however, CEO Tim Ellis believes that the company’s influence goes beyond the space industry. According to CNBC, Ellis said, “We’re not just building rockets, we’re reinventing the entire stack of ways to design, develop, build, and expand the company,”. He further added to his statement, “3D printing is a whole new technology stack for aerospace and hasn’t changed the paradigm of the last 60 years. Using hundreds of thousands to millions of individual parts in the factory, We manufacture products one at a time, full of fixing tools and a very complex supply chain”.

The company is currently completing work on its first rocket which is planned to be launched into orbit by the end of this year. Furthermore, Relativity Space in February unveiled or announced plans to build an even bigger and reusable rocket called Terran R, designed specifically to take on the Falcon 9 rocket that has become the workhouse of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The company is already home to the world’s largest 3D printers, capable of manufacturing a single piece of metal up to 32 feet tall! According to Ellis, 95% of the parts used in the manufacturing of Terran 1 are 3D printed which makes the whole process relatively easy.

Ellis, much like Elon Musk, believes and focuses on keeping Relativity Space focused on building humanity’s multi-planetary future. He also told CNBC, “We need to inspire dozens to hundreds of companies to go after making [a continuous human presence on] Mars a reality.” To Tim Ellis, additive manufacturing is the key to building an industrial base on Mars. He also remarked that his company, Relativity Space, is “on the bleeding edge of what is building the future of humanity”.

Written by: Ifrah Shahid

Reported by: Imaaz

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